Farewell to the Iron Lady

Farewell to the Iron Lady

9th April 2013 by Natalie Burns

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Farewell to the Iron Lady: a woman who reached the pinnacle of her profession

Baroness Thatcher, who died yesterday at the age of 87, was recognised in 2005 at the 50th anniversary of the Women of the Year Lunch with a Lifetime Achievement Award. We were delighted to have her at the lunch alongside fellow winners that year, which included pop icon Tina Turner and the International Red Cross nurse Claire Bertschinger, who inspired Bob Geldorf to form Band Aid and subsequently Live Aid.

Margaret Thatcher demonstrated that it was possible for a woman to get right to the very top when she became the UK’s first female Prime Minister in 1979 (after winning the Conservative’s leadership election in 1975); an iconic figure, she will be remembered as one of the world’s greatest peace time leaders.

Having shattered the glass ceiling, the extent to which she then advanced the cause for women divides opinion. She allegedly told an adviser that feminism was “poisonous” while, conversely, another of her famous quotes was: “if you want something done, ask a woman; if you want something said, ask a man.”

But, in charting a course from grocer’s daughter to Prime Minister, she changed the course of history – and, Women of the Year hopes – her achievement should be an inspiration for a future generation of women with the ambition of progressing into leadership.


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